Exercise, working out, strength training—is not a one-size fits all process. As much as we would like to simplify things, what works for me and my workout routines might not work for you.
Here are five things, regardless of your goals in the gym, or where you are starting out from, whether an Olympic champion or someone looking to drop a handful of pounds, that can help you to maximize the amount of time you are spending in the gym.
1. Schedule your workouts.
Too many of us hit the gym when we feel like it. Or when we feel motivated. This is an amateur way to go about it—pros have a plan, a schedule, a routine. This insures that they show up to the gym regardless of how fired up they are to work out that day. Research on workout habits and implementation intentions has shown that picking a time, place and day significantly increases adherence, with one study on people looking to workout more showing an improvement of 200-300%. Giddyup!
2. Set weekly goals.
Goal setting works. You know it, I know it. The problem usually happens when we focus solely on the outcome goals—“I want to lose ten pounds by March!” or “I want to be able to bench press 315 pounds!” To get your workouts to the next level you need to focus on your process-based, or short term goals. Mastering the process, and setting shorter, immediate goals for your workouts, will help keep you focused, consistent, and crushing your day to day workouts.
3. Track your progress.
One of the simplest ways to get more consistent in the gym is to write out your workouts. Yup, the simple act of putting pen to paper and writing out your sets, reps, weights, time spent murdering yourself on the treadmill, can increase your levels of motivation, give you a bird’s eye view of your training schedule, show you how lifestyle influences your workouts, and help you properly chart progression. Combined, this will help you stay consistent and maximize time spent in the gym.
4. Warm down properly.
I am super guilty of this, and to this day, even though I completely know better, often succumb to the pull of wanting to leave the gym the moment the hard stuff is complete. But warming down, even if it’s just an easy, breezey 10 minutes on the bike, a quick session on the foam roller, or doing some static stretching, will help you bounce back much quicker. Elite athletes understand that recovery and rest is a weapon, an integral part of their overall capacity in the gym. And this starts the moment that you put down that last heavy weight—from then on it’s a race to see how quickly you will recover.
5. Do what works for you.
It’s tempting to want to copy the workout routines and programs of our idols in the fitness world to absolute precision. The main problem with this is that their workout regimen has been honed and refined and tailored specifically to them, including their body, their schedule, and their preferences. If you aren’t someone who likes getting up early, don’t try to bang a square peg into a circle, and forcing yourself to have to create two new workout habits if it doesn’t suit the way you like to do things. There is no real right or wrong way to workout, only what is right for you and your goals, so don’t overthink or compare your workouts to what others are doing. If it works for you, do it!Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in